Monday, January 11, 2016

And the Winners Are...

The Golden Globes may mark the beginning of the awards season for films, but the Youth Media Awards announcements mark the end of the children's/teen book awards season for the previous year. Youth services librarians, school librarians, teachers, and other fans of children's/YA literature eagerly anticipate the announcements with hopes of their favorites being recognized (or at least having the titles in their collections!).

We are fortunate to have MANY of the titles already in our collection, including all honor and medalists for the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, Schneider Family, and Sibert Medals! Because there are so many awesome awards that were announced today, I'm just going to highlight the ones that are my favorites: 

Newbery Medal ("for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature"; awarded to the author, who must have residency in the United States) 

Hello! Surprise! "Last Stop on Market Street" is a picture book. Yes, picture books are absolutely eligible for the Newbery, as the age criteria only states "up to and including fourteen." "Roller Girl" is a fun graphic novel, and "Echo" is sublime. I can think of three different books that I would have chosen for the Medal, but I'm not a committee member. (I think the illustrations are definitely Caldecott worthy, and I admire Matt de la Pena's previous works very much, but I need to reread this book before I make a final conclusion.)  

Caldecott Medal ("for the most distinguished American picture book for children"; awarded to the illustrator, who must have residency in the United States)

I adore "Finding Winnie." Fabulous choice. The author is the great-granddaughter of the captain who cared for the actual bear cub that inspired A.A. Milne to write his Winnie stories. "Trombone Shorty" has a New Orleans connection, so I'm a big fan. And did you notice that Last Stop on Market Street also received a Caldecott Honor? This is only the second time in both awards' history that this has happened; it first happened with A Visit to William Blake's Inn, which won the 1982 Newbery Medal and was also a Caldecott Honor recipient that same year. 

Schneider Family Book Award ("for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability community")
Middle School (ages 11-13): Fish in a Tree and The War That Saved My Life (tied)

The Schneider is one of my favorite awards, so I'm pumped that we have all winning titles!

Sibert Informational Book Award ("for most distinguished informational book for children")

I'm always impressed with the choices for the Sibert. If you've read my blog, you know that I'm a huge admirer of "The Boys Who Challenged Hitler." Duncan Tonatiuh is one of my favorite illustrators, so I'm pleased that "Funny Bones" won. 

While I'm satisfied with all the award winners, there are inevitably favorites that were looked over, but the one that I missed seeing the most was The Bear Ate Your Sandwich. Such a funny and unexpected twist! "Emmanuel's Dream" is a fine book (and a positive story from Ghana), but I'm sorry that My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay was not recognized by the Schneider Family committee. Overall, I'm fine with the results. Not ecstatic happiness like I did in 2013 when The One and Only Ivan won, but it's very rare to attach yourself to a book that much and then have it win. (That's why it's special when it does happen.) 

A complete list of all awards can be found here.

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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